We chatted with Michelin-starred Italian chef Davide Scabin to find out why he's excited to be back in the Big Apple for Identità Golose this year, and where he loves to satisfy his sweet-tooth cravings.
Chef Davide Scabin.
As the owner of both Combal.Zero in Italy and Mulino a Vino in New York City, chef Davide Scabin straddles the cuisine of two continents with masterful ease. The global chef is headed back here to the heart of NYC for this year's Identità Golose event, which brings together celebrated Italian chefs from around the world to host master classes and present exclusive, multi-course dinners. We caught up with the toque ahead of the celebrations to chat about where he loves to get everything from gelato to cocktails in the city, and why he's happy to be back.
Are you excited to come to NYC to participate in Identità? DAVIDE SCABIN: New York is actually one of my favorite cities. It’s definitely a city that never stops—I’ve tried to keep up with the pace of life there, but New York always wins. I love discovering new trends and gastronomic hidden gems. The energy of Manhattan never fails to fuel my mind and creativity. Identità New York is a fantastic opportunity to showcase what is 100% Italian cuisine with some of the country’s best chefs.
What will you cook? DS: I will be doing a demo where I’ll showcase several dishes: rigatoni pasta in a pressure cooker, spaghetti monograno felicetti trick, which is pre-cooked pastel-shaped compressed spaghetti that "comes to life" after adding broth, and spaghetti scuba oil—pre-cooked spaghetti in oil, ideal as an aperitivo when cooking for friends. I will also be cooking a dish for a special, exclusive dinner where I will make my version of tagliatelle Bolognese using monograno felicetti pasta.
Oh yum. Tell us some of your favorite spots in NYC. Let's start with breakfast. DS: Buvette. They serve the best espresso coffee in Manhattan and they’re great there because when I ask for a "lungo in a large cup," there is no need to spend five minutes explaining that I don’t want an Americano or a double espresso—they just get me. Plus, the croque monsieurs and madames are always almost perfect!
And for a snack? DS: The Boom Boom Room. At any time of the day or night, even if you fancy a simple toasted sandwich, you always feel like you’re inside a “happy hour of fashion.”
How about dessert? DS: Gotham Bar & Grill. Tarte tatin for two is a must; and it’s the perfect place for a date.
Lunch? DS: Katz’s Delicatessen. I’ve always loved this place—it makes you feel like you’ve gone back in time.
For dinner? DS: [My restaurant] Mulino a Vino (but I am cheating here), Eleven Madison Park, Momofuku Noodle Bar for some of the best noodles in town, and Esca, which is the best place to eat “crudo” ham if you don’t fancy Japanese.
And we can't forget gelato. DS: As an Italian from Turin, I like to call in to Grom. It always makes me feel at home.
What about cocktails? DS: Employees Only. There’s no question that these are the best bartenders in Manhattan (including Igor, the owner). You can also eat late into the evening (I recommend the fried breaded lamb cutlets). You’d better get to know the doorman though, if you want to get in.
What's one food you can't find here that you wish you could? DS: An Italian-style bar. It’d be nice to receive some complimentary crisps or a couple of olives when you order a martini or a spritzer.
Identità Golose takes place from September 30 to October 3 at Eataly. For tickets to all events, head over to eataly.com